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Glaciers and melting ice caps

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Svalbard Global Seed Vault Floods as Permafrost Melts. This story originally appeared on the Guardian and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Svalbard Global Seed Vault Floods as Permafrost Melts

It was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s most precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever. Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts. It was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s most precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever.

Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts

Earth - There are diseases hidden in ice, and they are waking up. Throughout history, humans have existed side-by-side with bacteria and viruses.

Earth - There are diseases hidden in ice, and they are waking up

From the bubonic plague to smallpox, we have evolved to resist them, and in response they have developed new ways of infecting us. We have had antibiotics for over a century, ever since Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin. In response, bacteria have responded by evolving antibiotic resistance. The battle is endless: because we spend so much time with pathogens, we sometimes develop a kind of natural stalemate.

However, what would happen if we were suddenly exposed to deadly bacteria and viruses that have been absent for thousands of years, or that we have never met before? We may be about to find out. Arctic melting feeds on itself - Climate News NetworkClimate News Network. Melting sea ice is affecting the closely-linked Arctic climate in a feedback that will speed up warming there, scientists say.

Arctic melting feeds on itself - Climate News NetworkClimate News Network

LONDON, 12 June, 2016 – Scientists have established at least one factor in the record melting of northern Greenland in 2015. The Arctic itself played a hand in what happened. In a process that engineers call positive feedback, high atmospheric pressure and clear skies over the Arctic region practically committed the northwest of Greenland to an episode of melting at record rates.

And because the Arctic is the fastest-warming region on Earth, and because atmosphere and ocean influence each other, the steady loss of sea ice each year has forced a change in wind patterns. "Mountain people paying price for climate change" Director David Molden of ICIMOD spoke to Nepali Times after a recent visit to the centre's climate research station in Langtang.

"Mountain people paying price for climate change"

Jitendra Bajracharya / ICIMOD Director David Molden of ICIMOD (pictured, above) spoke to Nepali Times after a recent visit to the centre's climate research station in Langtang.

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Catastrophic Sea Level Rise: More and sooner. What is not new Ultimately sea levels will rise several feet, given the present levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Catastrophic Sea Level Rise: More and sooner

We already knew this by examining paleo data, and finding periods in the past with similar surface temperatures and/or similar atmospheric CO2 levels as today. I put a graphic from a paper by Gavin Foster and Eelco Rohling at the top of the post. It does a good job of summarizing the paleo data. If we keep pumping CO2 into the atmosphere at current, or even somewhat reduced, levels for a few more decades, the ultimate increase in sea levels will be significant. Let me rephrase that to make it clear. A conservative estimate is that likely sea levels will rise 8 meters or more, quite possibly considerably more. Sea_level_study_james_hansen_issues_dire_climate_warning.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images In what may prove to be a turning point for political action on climate change, a breathtaking new study casts extreme doubt about the near-term stability of global sea levels.

sea_level_study_james_hansen_issues_dire_climate_warning

The study—written by James Hansen, NASA’s former lead climate scientist, and 16 co-authors, many of whom are considered among the top in their fields—concludes that glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica will melt 10 times faster than previous consensus estimates, resulting in sea level rise of at least 10 feet in as little as 50 years. Why Greenland’s Melting Could Be the Biggest Climate Disaster of All. Posted by Chris Mooney on Monday, January 28, 2013 Glaciologist Jason Box is racing to figure out just how rapidly we’re pushing the 7 meters of sea rise level locked up in the Greenland ice sheet onto our shores.

Why Greenland’s Melting Could Be the Biggest Climate Disaster of All

Jason Box speaks the language of Manhattans. Not the drink—the measuring unit. As an expert on Greenland who has traveled 23 times to the massive, mile thick northern ice sheet, Box has shown an uncanny ability to predict major melts and breakoffs of Manhattan-sized ice chunks. A few years back, he foretold the release of a “4x Manhattans” piece of ice from Greenland’s Petermann Glacier, one so big that once afloat it was dubbed an “ice island.” Box, who will speak at next week’s Climate Desk Live briefing in Washington, D.C., pulls no punches when it comes to attributing all of this to humans and their fossil fuels. Unless, that is, something big changes—something big enough to start Greenland cooling, shifting its “mass balance” from ice loss to ice gain once again.

Arctic Temperatures Highest in 44,000 Years. Plenty of studies have shown that the Arctic is warming and that the ice caps are melting, but how does it compare to the past, and how serious is it?

Arctic Temperatures Highest in 44,000 Years

New research shows that average summer temperatures in the Canadian Arctic over the last century are the highest in the last 44,000 years, and perhaps the highest in 120,000 years. Antarctic Rate of Ice Loss Double Previous Estimate. For the third time this month there is bad news about ice melt in Antarctica.

Antarctic Rate of Ice Loss Double Previous Estimate

Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet: 2015 Arctic sea ice maximum annual extent is lowest on record. The sea ice cap of the Arctic appeared to reach its annual maximum winter extent on Feb. 25, according to data from the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Major Antarctic ice survey reveals dramatic melting - environment - 26 March 2015. It's melting from above and below and crumbling at the edges. Antarctica is in trouble. Its frozen edges, or ice shelves, are disappearing into the ocean faster than we thought.

Some have thinned by up to 18 per cent in the past two decades, and the process is accelerating.